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The conduct of estate agents, in the course of estate agency work, is regulated by the Estate Agents Act 1979 and the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991.
The Estate Agents Act, and subsequent Orders, lay down the duties agents owe to clients and to third parties, and gives the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) the power to issue warning or prohibition notices against those persons it considers unfit to carry on estate agency work.
The Property Misdescriptions Act makes it an offence to make false or misleading statements about property offered for sale (see link).
Both Acts are enforced by local Trading Standards departments and the Office of Fair Trading. For further information see our Quick Facts pages.
Estate Agency Market Report
The OFT published a report on the estate agency market in England and Wales on 23 March 2004. The report concluded that the estate agency market works well in many respects, but there is significant consumer dissatisfaction with estate agency services and customers find it difficult to complain and obtain redress. For the Government response see the Market Report link on the top right..
We are taking forward measures in the Government response in the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress (CEAR) Bill which received Royal Assent on Thursday 19th July 2007
For further information on the Bill, please see the CEAR Bill section in the menu on the left. For proposals about redress please see the Redress page below.